Almost four decades after opening on Rodeo Drive, Theodore has moved to a new flagship location in Beverly Hills.
The contemporary boutique chain, which includes eight stores in the Los Angeles area, was in the forefront of selling designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen in the U.S.
"We've been on Rodeo Drive since 1969, and were one of the first stores on the street," said Norma Fink, who coowns the chain with her husband, Herb. "We've been there a long time, and when it was time to think about a new lease, we thought we'd like to go forward, to go to another street and step into the future."
The new 4,000-square-foot Theodore flagship is in prime position on Camden Drive, next door to the celebrity hangout Mr. Chow and across the street from Sports Club LA and the Endeavor Talent Agency. The space, which opened last month, is outfitted in Theodore's signature style of white walls, pale floors and track lighting, all the better to showcase generously stacked tables of brightly colored T-shirts from $50 to $80 and matching flip-flops for about $125, sweet summer dresses and a range of men's wear.
Staples include brands such as The Great China Wall, which Norma Fink said has a strong sell-through, as well as European brands that include Roberto Cavalli, Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela and Gaultier. There is also jewelry from Loree Rodkin, and product from emerging designers like Haider Ackerman.
Norma Fink billed the offerings in the new store as "sportswear and casual," a theme through all Theodore boutiques, which are also located in Marina Del Rey, Calabasas, The Grove, Malibu and Brentwood. A unit will open in Palm Desert, Calif., in October.
"I think the reason we have such longevity is because we remain ourselves," said Norma Fink. "But of course we change with the times."
As for expanding during an economic downturn, she took the long view.
"We've chosen not to pay that much attention to it. These things come and go, and everybody is in the same boat. None of us can predict the times," Fink said.
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